Rich

You can't decide whether money changes things or not; it does. You can decide, however, whether it changes things for better or worse.

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49. Forty nine

When I get home from school the next day, Jem is on the roof again. 

"I thought my dad was going to call someone about that." I call.

He jumps. "What the- are you trying to make me fall again?"

I laugh. "Yes."

He pretends to scowl at me and then grins. "The person your dad called was me."

"Sorry." I frown. "He shouldn't have dragged you out here again to-"

"No, no, no, it's no problem." he says and then smiles that quirky little smile. "I get to see you don't I?"

I blush and shrug. "Whatever floats your boat."

He stares at me. "Kaya, tell me something."

"Okay."

"Are you an expert at ruining romantic moments?"

I frown but I'm laughing too. "How did I ruin a romantic moment?" 

"Did you ever hear Romeo say to Juliet 'Alright love, yeah, we can get married in secret if you want, whatever floats your boat'?" he calls and then grins, climbing down the ladder.

I can't help but feel uncomfortable with how forward he's being with the whole romance thing. I just hope he won't bring up the kiss. 

"So when are we going to talk about that kiss?" he says casually, still grinning at me.

I stare at him. "I didn't think we were going to talk about that."

He laughs. "We can never mention it again if you want. Whatever floats your boat."

I laugh, shoving him. "I don't mind mentioning it, I just didn't think we were going to."

"Why not?" 

I shrug. "You're not going to be here forever, it's not like we could be together." I thought I was just saying it as something to say but as I say it, I realise I mean it. 

"I'm going to be here for a while." he protests. 

"Yeah but how long's a while?" I ask, exasperated. 

He shrugs, still smiling. "Enough time."

I smile at him. "Jem, it's not going to work."

I wait for him to sulk or storm off like Alex would have but he just smiles, shaking his head. "You'll come around. Let's go watch TV."

So we go inside and watch TV and hang out like usual for a while and I think we're putting the whole thing beside us when he turns to me and goes "Hey Kaya, will you go out with me?" 

I frown at him and laugh. "No!"

He nods, smiling to himself and turns back to the TV.  "Okay."

And it turns into a thing. He asks again before he leaves and I say no. He picks me up before school as a surprise the next morning and asks me. He picks me up after school and asks me. He calls me up and asks me. He texts me every single day at nine pm and asks me. I say no every time. He sort of says it with a little smile on his face, keeping it light hearted which I'm thankful for and I am pretty flattered, but still.

One night, as usual, his text arrives at nine pm sharp:

Kaya, will you go out with me?

I reply:

Yes

He replies quickly:

WHAT?? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

I reply:

No

He calls me and I laugh as I pick up the phone. "Sorry."

"You are awful. I thought I'd finally gotten to you."

I smile to myself. "You can't have actually believed me."

"I did." he says definitely. "I had tears in my eyes and everything."

"Tell me you're kidding."

He chuckles. "I'm kidding."

I go quiet whilst he keeps on talking about some film he's watching and wonder why I keep saying no to him. I have no good explanation in my head. It just didn't seem right, I was worried that maybe I'd be using him to get over Alex but I know that I'm not. I was also worried about cutting off all ties to Alex but I know now that that is what's best.

"And then Tom Cruise's character rolls underneath this tank but-"

"Yes." I say.

He pauses. "Yes. Yes, Tom Cruise's character rolls under-"

"No." I laugh.

"Yes he does. I'm literally watching the movie right now Kaya."

"No, I mean no I wasn't saying yes to that." I laugh again. "I was saying yes to you."

He hesitates. "You'd better not be joking again."

"I'm not joking." I promise.

I can almost see the grin appearing on his face. "I knew you'd come around."

"No you didn't. I didn't even know."

"Well I knew." he says. "I'll pick you up at eight tomorrow."

"Okay." I smile. 

"Alright." he says, a smile in his voice. "I've got to go. Eight pm tomorrow."

"See you." I say and hang up the phone.

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